Smart speakers most popular in urban China: Report

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Urban Chinese showed the strongest acceptance for smart speakers worldwide, a Deloitte report has showed.

By mid-2018, about 22 percent of the surveyed adults in China's urban areas had smart speakers, the highest ratio across the world, while about 19 percent of the U.S. citizens did, according to the report released by the audit and consulting firm.

Urban Chinese also posted the highest awareness of the voice recognition functions on their smartphones, the report said.

Deloitte expects global smart speaker market volume to reach 7 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, up 63 percent from 4.3 billion dollars in 2018, the fastest growing connected smart device.

The smart speaker is a pioneering product of artificial technologies applications, and its future lies in serving demands in diversified occasions, said Chen Xiaoliang, founder and CEO of Chinese acoustics technology startup Sound AI.

China has rapidly emerged in 2018 as the second-largest market for smart speakers after the United States and is expected a 12-fold annual increase in shipments, according to report from market research firm Strategy Analytics.

Deloitte attributed the robust China market growth to discounted prices, as the report found that prices of Chinese smart speakers are much lower than their U.S. counterparts.

Chen expected the price subsidy to be temporary as the strategy mainly serves to nurture and expand the market.

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